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Doris Day Passed Away at 97!

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ScottJH, May 13, 2019.

  1. Garysb

    Garysb Cinematographer

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    Excellent article from Deadline
    Doris Day Appreciation: Why Did Oscar Elude A Shining Star Of So Many Talents?

    [​IMG]
    Warner Bros
    Whenever the subject of who should get Honorary Oscars – or the Governors Awards – as they are now known – comes up annually there has not been a single year, not one , when Doris Day’s name was not at the top of the speculation, but it never happened. The Academy’s Board Of Governors never even went the Debbie Reynolds route by voting this renowned animal rights activist the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, perhaps because it has human in its title. Although she often referred to herself as the girl singer in the band, her remarkable movie career spanned a couple of decades during the 50’s and 60’s, and about three dozen movies — frequently in what might be known as Doris Day movies, and maybe that is why the Academy never honored her, or perhaps they just knew this star, who retreated from the business almost entirely would never show up. Still , in her big screen prime , there was no one, then or now, who was bigger or more beloved.

    Day, who died today of pnemonia at the ripe old age of 97, had only one flirtation with Oscar and that was a Best Actress nomination for 1959’s massive comedy hit, Pillow Talk , the first of three hugely successful teamings with Rock Hudson. The split screen bath the pair took together during the film’s opening is worth the price of admission and showed a sexier side of Day in movies. [​IMG]She lost to Simone Signoret in Room At The Top and that was it for Day’s dance with Oscar, but she did win several Golden Globes for what they called “World Film Favorite” and a special Cecil B. DeMille Award for which she did show up 30 years ago, but there were no Kennedy Center Honors, no AFI Life Achievement Awards, no Emmy nominations, despite some well-received variety specials and a five season sitcom that became her acting swan song when it went off in 1973. This iconic singer did finally get a Life Achievement Grammy in 2009 , but those barely even get mentioned on the Grammy show. Show biz simply didn’t shower her with the awards attention her extraordinary career deserved and she never was reduced to groveling for it. In terms of Oscars, Day may never have won one herself but she did introduce two immortal Academy Award winning songs in her films, first “Secret Love” for 1953’s Calamity Jane , and then he best known hit , “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)” which she sang in 1956’s Alfred Hitchcock thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much.

    [​IMG]I believe I have seen just about every Day movie , some of them several times. Just recently I revisited 1963’s Cinemascope Fox comedy Move Over Darling and I don’t know how much I have seen it ( a lot) but she nails it, especially when impersonating a Swedish Masseuse giving Polly Bergen the works. I also recently rewatched a personal favorite she did with Jack Lemmon, 1959’s It Happened To Jane. It was pure Day, even though it was one of her rare flops in her heyday. Columbia even tried unsuccessfully to salvage it by re-releasing it with a new name, Twinkle And Shine, two words that certainly describe much of what Day did on screen.

    [​IMG]It seems like there wasn’t a top leading man of the 50’s and 60’s who didn’t rush to work with her: Gable, Grant, Sinatra, Stewart, Cagney, Douglas, Garner, and on and on. She was unique in the film world , a number one box office star for the better part of a decade, but it would have been amazing to see her do some unexpected things. There is an urban myth that Mike Nichols offered her the Mrs. Robinson role in The Graduate, and certainly that would have been an eye opener. She definitely had the acting chops to do it, but the film’s producer Lawrence Turman said it never got farther than sending the original book to Day’s then husband/manager Martin Melcher (he blew through her millions and left her bankrupt) who was reportedly repulsed by the idea, thinking it was dirty and never even showed it to her. Anne Bancroft eventually played the role and won an Oscar nomination. The Graduate with Doris Day? Consider the possibilities if she really tried to shed that sweetheart image at a key changing moment in the movie industry. Instead she would walk away forever from motion pictures the next year in two fluffy forgotten Day vehicles, Where Were You When The Lights Went Out? and With Six You Get Eggroll.

    [​IMG]In films that were worthy of her talents she really was good, and I think highly underrated as a dramatic actress and a comedienne on par with Lucy. Her work with Hudson in Pillow Talk (which did win the Oscar for Original Screenplay in 1959), and their follow-up Lover Come Back (which got an Original Screenplay nomination in 1961) was first rate, just as she was with Cary Grant in 1962’s That Touch Of Mink , and with Clark Gable in Teacher’s Pet (1958) ( two more comic gems with Oscar nominated scripts,proving she knew how to pick ’em and inspire writers given half the chance). A personal favorite is another 1963 comedy in which she co-starred with James Garner, director Norman Jewison’s The Thrill Of It All in which she is hilarious as a housewife who stumbles into a job doing television commercials for Happy Soap. Her dramatic work in movies like The Man Who Knew Too Much, Julie , Young Man With A Horn, and even Ross Hunter’s glossy thriller Midnight Lace was always impressive even when the scripts let her down , but none more so that the 1955 biopic, Love Me Or Leave Me in which she was sensational as singer Ruth Etting trying to escape the clutches of gangster James Cagney. Find it and watch it, perhaps her best screen performance. In fact TCM just announced a 24 hour marathon of her movies as a tribute on June 9 and that one is included.

    [​IMG]Day, of course , made lots of musicals including early ones that don’t leave much of a lasting impression, but she hit her stride in tuners like Calamity Jane, Jumbo, and my favorite, 1957’s Pajama Game which I just saw again on the big screen in a pristine 35MM print and she hit it out of the park. Day was hired to give it Hollywood star power since most of the cast were repeating their original Broadway roles. In later years Day dabbled occasionally in the recording world, and her final studio album “My Heart” featuring songs recorded originally in the mid-80’s for her animal-focused TV show, Doris Day’s Best Friends, saw her at age 89 in 2011 becoming the oldest artist to score a Top 10 UK record with new material. The music of this “girl singer” , the movies of this superstar, and the Foundation of this humanimaltarian thankfully will live on.

    Those four legged creatures she so cared about are going to miss her. So will we all.
     
    ponset, Jeff Flugel, MartinP. and 3 others like this.
  2. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    How wonderful to hear that our beloved Doris Day had such a peaceful death, surrounded by friends and family, at the age of 97.
    She has left us so many memories. Unfortunately, not enough on Blu ray yet. We'll be watching 'Pillow Talk' very soon, and maybe even give the old DVD of 'Pajama Game' a spin. And have a glass or three while we watch.
     
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  3. Message #23 of 40 May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Garysb

    Garysb Cinematographer

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    TCM FILM TRIBUTE - JUNE 9 (ALL TIMES EST)
    6:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] Romance on the High Seas (1948)
    8:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] My Dream is Yours (1949)
    10:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] Tea for Two (1950)
    11:45 AM (ET) [​IMG] On Moonlight Bay (1951)
    1:30 PM (ET) [​IMG] Carson on TCM: Doris Day (1976)
    1:45 PM (ET) [​IMG] Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
    4:00 PM (ET) [​IMG] Calamity Jane (2053)
    6:00 PM (ET) [​IMG] Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
    8:00 PM (ET) [​IMG] Pillow Talk (1959)
    10:00 PM (ET) [​IMG] Lover Come Back (1961)
    12:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] Move Over, Darling (1963)
    2:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
    4:00 AM (ET) [​IMG] Julie (1956)
     
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  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    She was the first star I really fell in love with and have remained a fan all my life. Others have been added to the list over the years but she’s the one I’ve adored for literally as long as I can remember. My mother told me once that the first night they brought me home from the hospital, my grandmother sat up with me rocking me in front of the Late, Late Show which was Doris in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. For all I know, my adoration started that night. It certainly deepened when she released her autobiography and I realized everything she’d been through in her life.

    I would LOVE more Doris on blu-ray, especially The Pajama Game and Young Man With a Horn.
     
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  5. Cineman

    Cineman Second Unit

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    It's like losing a member of my family. She was always around in songs, movies, television. My two favorite Doris Day movies are Young at Heart where she co-starred with Frank Sinatra and Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. She gave terrific performances in both, imo.

    Listening to Doris Day sing makes me feel happy in a way few singers ever did.
     
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  6. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I only recently watched The Man Who Knew Too Much, which of course is the origin of her signature song. She was terrific in it.

    Lots of tributes out there. I especially liked the one from Paul McCartney.
     
  7. Message #27 of 40 May 14, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Always love her and never leave her;
    there's only one Doris Day.
     
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  8. marcco00

    marcco00 Second Unit

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    Luv you Doris!!!
     
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  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    A Sentimental Journey with Doris Day and the Les Brown Band. I always loved her singing voice.

     
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  10. Cineman

    Cineman Second Unit

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    The Siriusly Sinatra channel on SiriusXM is airing a tribute to Doris Day right now, including excerpts from an interview she did with Nancy Sinatra for that channel a few years ago. Lovely stuff.
     
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  11. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    I was watching Doris Day's last TV special, from 1975, titled Doris Day Today. There's a segment where she sings The Way We Were and images of her with the famous men and the movie posters from the movies they starred in together appear on screen. It's a nice homage to watch, by Doris herself. There's also an extra with just her voice singing The Way We Were and b&w images of her and her co-stars.
     
  12. Message #32 of 40 May 14, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    Mysto

    Mysto Supporting Actor

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    We have Billy Rose's Jumbo on tap for tonight. We've watched just about all of the other Blu Ray's in the last couple of months.
     
  13. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    One of my favorite recordings of hers. Sinatra may have had the bigger hit, but I actually prefer Doris’ sexy, sultry, slower version.

     
  14. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Agent

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    I've got 9 Doris Day movies: Romance on the High Seas, Young Man with a Horn, I'll See You in My Dreams, Calamity Jane, Love Me or Leave Me (Blu-ray), Julie, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers. Recommend all.
     
  15. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Agent

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    When asked if there was anyone she did not like working with she replied "Only one. Kirk Douglas." Apparently he was very rude to her while making Young Man with a Horn in 1950. I was wishing she would outlive him.
     
  16. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Agent

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    Thank you so much. It was the next best thing to being there. I'm assuming she was on the porch looking down on you guys. You're the greatest!
     
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  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    That wasn't actually my video; I just found it on YouTube. A large gathering of fans had gathered to serenade her on her birthday the last several years.

    And yes, that was her on the balcony. In past years, the organizer had the phone number of one of her relatives up at the house, and she would speak with the group through the cellphone. I'm guessing that she was too ill this year to have a conversation.
     
  18. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I thought I had already posted in here, but I guess not.

    97. Wow. That she's gone is sad, but she certainly had a long and full life.
     
  19. ponset

    ponset Second Unit

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    Love Doris. Her singing and acting.
    Also had her own radio show in the early 50's. Before that she was on the BOB HOPE show for 2 seasons.

    https://www.dorisdaymagic.com/radio.html

    Rest In Peace. Hope Rock and Doris are having a wonderful time together again.

    DorisRock.
     
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  20. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Ugh. I hope it wasn't because he tried to do to her what he did to Natalie Wood.

    Rest in peace, lovely, talented lady.
     

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